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New Atlas EQ-G -- Couple Questions

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#1 tclehman1969

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:59 PM

Good afternoon, all!

Well, after much deliberating and receiving lots of input from Cloudynights readers and everything else, I took the plunge and purchased the Atlas EQ-G to replace my old C8s fork mount.

Took it out just the other night and WOW! So much more stable than the old fork, incredible. Goto functions pretty well, and I was able to get a couple pics that were pretty good even though I didn't do much on polar alignment.

But, I have a couple questions. First, scope hand controller has option to view power voltage. Even though I have a 12 volt battery plugged in, voltage indicator on the Synscan says 20 volts. Anyone ever see this? I called Orion and I got the, "Gee, never seen that before."

Second question is after entering location data and time, I get a Polaris time screen. It gives Polaris HA time= and also a clock time =. What is this? I think it has to do with getting the polar alignment scope set up right, but there is no reference in the manual to this.

Third, after doing a star alignment, it gives me a Mel and Maz numbers. What do these numbers mean? Again, no reference in the manual.

Last, what is the purpose of the supposed RA setting circle? It doesn't appear to work correctly and from past articles here and elsewhere on the web I've read, the RA circle really isn't useful.

Overall, ok, only had it out once thanks to overcast conditions, but it seems to be a pretty good mount, far more sturdier than the old fork mount. Have to get over it not operating like a fork. It was strange going from the home position, selecting an object in the west sky and the scope rolling eastward, in, to me, the opposite direction and "pointing back on itself" to view the object. As long as it knows where it is, I guess that ok. At first I was thinking that it would put my finder scope in awkward positions but, but it doesn't.

Anyway, any info on those questions would be most helpful!

Thanks in advance!

#2 jrbarnett

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:34 PM

"Second question is after entering location data and time, I get a Polaris time screen. It gives Polaris HA time= and also a clock time =. What is this? I think it has to do with getting the polar alignment scope set up right, but there is no reference in the manual to this."

The north celestial pole is actually a short distance (~1 degree or a little less) from Polaris. I suspect that the reading is telling you, based on the time, date and location data you've entered, the direction relative to the pole star that the NCP is offset.

Regards,

Jim

#3 johnpd

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:56 AM

1. Never checked that reading so I can't help.

2. The mount gives you the relative position (as on a clock face) of Polaris to the NCP. The display can be used to give you where to position Polaris with the polarscope.

3. The Mel and Maz numbers tell you how far off your polar alignment is in altitude and azimuth.

4. From my understanding (this is my first Skywatcher mount) the hand controller used to give you an hour angle value for Polaris which you could use with the RA circle to fine tune the polar alignment. The circles can also be used to manually re-establish the home position if they are set once home position has been established.

You need to establish the home position using the hand controller otherwise it can go off in strange directions.

JohnD

#4 Phil Sherman

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

I'd try plugging the hand controller directly into a 12V supply. A 12V battery would be best. If the voltage shows up as 20V, then something is wrong in the hand controller.

You can try reflashing it to see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't then you should contact Orion for a replacement. It's best to get these issues fixed while the equipment is still covered by its initial warranty.

The clock position when polar aligning gives you the position of the small Polaris circle when looking through the polar scope. Put the small circle at the indicated clock position then adjust the mount to center Polaris in the little circle and you'll be closely polar aligned. I've also used the clock value to compute a displacement in 24 hour time and used the setting circles to rotate the mount on the RA axis the correct amount. That's more accurate than guestimating a clock position.

You can use the Mel and Maz values to improve the polar alignment. Sync on a star then use the Mel Maz adjustments and the hand controller readouts to compute a new location for the star. Manually move the scope to the new location then use the alt and azimuth adjustments to recenter the star. This will improve polar alignment but you'll have to redo the sky alignment after the adjustment.

Phil

Phil

#5 rmollise

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:34 PM

If the HC operates properly, I wouldn't worry about a spurious voltage reading. This thing don't say "Hewlett-Packard" or "Fluke" on it, after all... ;)

#6 tclehman1969

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:21 PM

Being on a Mac system, I don't think I can flash the controller, at least I don't believe there is a firmware version for the controller that will load from a Mac. Thanks for the tip on the Mel/Maz and how to tighten it up a bit. Just a quick question, on the polar alignment clock, there are two different times provided, a HA= and also a Clock=. Which time would I use?

#7 tclehman1969

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:37 PM

Thanks, Uncle Rod.

Quick semi-unrelated question for you, as you are a Celestron-o-file, or whatever, and having had an Atlas before I read about on your blog. I just deforked a Super C8 Plus to mount on this Atlas. I am using the Vixen bar to mount to the Atlas and for the flip side, I have installed my ADM MDS to hold my camera and my Celestron Onyx 80 EDF. With the Onyx mounted on the back, would that be an awkward load? Is it too much of a load for the three screws that hold the Vixen bar to the scope?

#8 shawnhar

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:15 AM

Great question! I am about to do the same thing with a Meade 10 and it only has 2 holes!

#9 rmollise

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:54 AM

Thanks, Uncle Rod.

Quick semi-unrelated question for you, as you are a Celestron-o-file, or whatever, and having had an Atlas before I read about on your blog. I just deforked a Super C8 Plus to mount on this Atlas. I am using the Vixen bar to mount to the Atlas and for the flip side, I have installed my ADM MDS to hold my camera and my Celestron Onyx 80 EDF. With the Onyx mounted on the back, would that be an awkward load? Is it too much of a load for the three screws that hold the Vixen bar to the scope?


If you are able to balance the scope, and the dovetail is not flopping around...just keep on truckin'... ;)

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:57 AM

Bootcamp on the Mac. And a Keyspan USB-to-Serial adapter. Yeah, you have to buy an OEM copy of Windows, but... :grin:

- Jim

#11 astro_baby

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

The polar clock and HA data gives the Polatis clock position, ie where Polaris would appear around the polar circle if the polar circle were a clock face. Ie if the clock postion is at 06:oo then polaris would be at the exact bottom of the circle.

The hour angle is a bit more complex. It tells you how many hours since Polaris transited. Heres how you use it. Lets say the HA is marked as 3 hours.

Look through the polarscope and rotate the ra axis until polaris is at the bottom, thats the transit point. The polarscope is reversed as its a refreactor so things appear upside down. Ok so polatis is now at its transit point in the polarscope. Now set the RA circle so that its locked at 0. Now rotate the mount through the RA axis until the circle has moved three hours forward. Ie the RA index is now reading 03:00, so the RA is advaned by three hours. Lock the ta index. Whereever polaris is now in the polarscope is where it should be in the sky.

Hope that helps.

The M data is for the all star polar alignment routine, that sounds like you have the ASPA version loaded, skywatcher have since disable this feature in the later versions as its been proven to be unreliable and to provide faulty alignment. Hope thats all of some help.

#12 Skrenlin

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 01:45 PM

The voltage misreading is present on my brand new (well, 2 week old now) Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G. Its apparently some kind of firmware issue. I'm awaiting a firmware update to fix it. It causes no harm, its just a bad info display according to Orion support.

#13 tclehman1969

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:13 PM

That should work, huh? I don't know, maybe my issue is purely psychological going from two fork arms to only 1 side being braced.

Ok, I'll give it a shot! :D

#14 tclehman1969

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:16 PM

Ugh...Windows...but I guess if you have to, then you have to! :bawling:

#15 tclehman1969

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:20 PM

Good stuff...a bit confusing, but after I do it a few times, ill get it.

Thanks!






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